Giving Tuesday 2020: Chicago's LGBTQ Charities Struggle During COVID-19 Pandemic

Tue. December 1, 2020 8:20 AM by News Staff

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Amid Shopping Is Giving Tuesday, An Opportunity To Help Local LGBTQ Organizations

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday. Unlike those other days, Giving Tuesday was created to promote charitable acts of giving after consumers spent billions of dollars on goods.

Started in 2012 by the UN Foundation, the goal of Giving Tuesday is to shift the focus from buying to giving back to a good cause. The day of giving back is now observed across 70 counties on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Last year, more than $500 million was donated online as a part of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. alone.

This year, Giving Tuesday comes as need is great because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting donations and the number of people who are volunteering.

“If you have an extra few dollars to give to a non-profit this year, Giving Tuesday is the day to do it,” explained Eric Wilkerson, Chief Development Officer for Chicago House. “While COVID-19 continues sweeping across our country and globe, non-profits everywhere are closing their doors, laying off staff, and shutting down programs. Like many industries, this pandemic has disrupted their business-as-usual approach and non-profit organizations aren’t excluded from this which has resulted and will continue resulting in less revenue in the door. This makes it harder to continue delivering services and this is why individual support on days such as Giving Tuesday is critical.”

Chicago House is among a number of LGBTQ non-profits, including AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Affinity Community Services, Center on Halsted, Equality Illinois, and Howard Brown accepting online donations on Giving Tuesday.

Make online donations to Chicago LGBTQ non-profits:

Affinity Community Services: “Affinity reaches over 2,000 individuals annually. We do so through a combination of educational, social, and community collaborations. So many programs that serve LGBTQ communities of color across the country have been forced to severely scale back their programs or completely shut their doors, but Affinity is still here! We thank you for your continued support.”

AIDS Foundation of Chicago: “Your tax-deductible gift saves lives, provides essential services to our friends and neighbors living with or vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, and worked toward ending homelessness.”

Brave Space Alliance: “Brave Space Alliance was created to fill a gap in the organizing of and services to trans and gender-nonconforming people. Your generous donation to Brave Space Alliance will go towards funding one of our transformative community programs and providing free resources.”

Center on Halsted: “Your gift strengthens our response to the pandemic, connecting LGBTQ people and others in the community to behavioral health specialists who can address anxiety, loneliness and violence. Your gift also helps us refer those in need to temporary shelters, specialized HIV care and other services, affordable housing, and food.”

Chicago House: “Your support ensures that our residents and participants have access to things like safe, affirming housing; household cleaning supplies; personal protective equipment; and groceries.”

Equality Illinois: “The LGBTQ civil rights work of Equality Illinois and Equality Illinois Institute reaches every corner of Illinois through the generosity of our contributors. Please join the thousands of people who give to make our work possible.”

Howard Brown Health: “Support Howard Brown Health in providing comprehensive health and wellness programs to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”

Pride Action Tank: “Thank you for making a difference as we work to improve the health, safety, and progress of the LGBTQIA community by inspiring, supporting and leading collaborative action.”!/donation/checkout

Test Positive Aware Network: TPAN has never stopped serving during the COVID-19 crisis, reaching hundreds of Chicagoans every week during the Illinois shutdown. We are proud to re-open our doors in Chicago and continue to provide telehealth and face-to-face care to the many people who turn to us for help.”

Youth Empowerment Performance Project: “YEPP strives to create a brave environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) youth experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and to celebrate their strengths through personal, leadership and community development programming that incorporate different art-expression forms.”